Somewhere to review books I'm reading without giving away any spoilers!

Thought provoking #GuestPost – Love to Hate by Kerena Swan, author of ‘Driven’

Today you're in for a special treat, I'm sure,
As author Kerena Swan starts to explore
The links between Love and Hate
To read it, I hope you just can't wait!
Then carry on, to find out more about her and her book,
Maybe that'll tempt you to give it a look!

Love to Hate – 

What lies behind crimes of passion?

So what is love? 

I think the American anthropologist, Helen Fisher, who describes love’s obsessive attachment as, ‘Someone camping out in your head,’ pretty much nails it. Surprisingly, MRI scans of people madly in love show surges in brain areas rich in dopamine, the brain’s feel good chemical,  with similar brain areas lighting up during the rush of euphoria to the after effects of taking cocaine. Now, I’m not advocating taking drugs but if you read on, you’ll discover love can be just as dangerous.

In the early stages of love we experience higher cortisol levels giving us racing hearts, sweaty palms and what feels like butterflies in our stomachs. Oxytocin in our brains deepens our feelings of attachment, trust, empathy and sexual monogamy.

In the immortal words of Shakespeare, ‘Love is merely a madness.’ This certainly seems to be the case for the couple that got married in the shopping aisle of ALDI a few days ago, with ALDI themed food and, to add the finishing touches, an ALDI shopping trolley wedding cake.

Lower levels of serotonin occurs mostly in the first six months and studies show people in love have much lower activity in the frontal cortex – an area of the brain crucial to reason and judgement – otherwise known as the ‘Beer Goggles’ theory.

So what happens after the first six months of glorious passion? Some couples settle into patterns of adjusted and acceptable behaviours whilst other relationships may gradually decline, especially when one or both refuse to compromise their own values or lifestyles.

Stephen J Betchen D.S.W. says there are six signs that you’ve fallen out of love and once you’ve fallen out it’s really hard to fall back in.

  1. Apathy – People in love have the energy to be with their partners and want to find ways to please them and do exciting things together. If one doesn’t want to explore the world with the other and lacks motivation they may not want their partner’s company.
  2. Distance – Partners in love want to be around each other as much as possible and can’t wait to get back to them to spend time together. If one is routinely distancing themselves from their mate they may no longer be in love.
  3. Physical intimacy – If they’re in love they want more sex and feel a desire to please their partner. If one or both are uninterested in sex there may be something seriously wrong.
  4. Focus – Couples in love focus on their partner and may give them small gifts to show their love and express concern if they seem unhappy. If their partner is rarely on their mind they may not be in love anymore. 
  5. Respect – People in love respect each other and admire and support their endeavours. This means they are better able to listen, negotiate and compromise and there is more teamwork and fewer struggles. If one thinks the other has nothing more to offer the relationship then they’ve probably fallen out of love.

Some couples may plod along and tolerate each other whilst others separate. Some go further than that. It might begin with petty revenge such as letting him eat the shepherd’s pie when the cat has nibbled off the cheese topping (yes, I confess – I really did that, but he had gone to the pub and left me stranded indoors with sleeping children) to cleaning the dog’s teeth with his toothbrush (I haven’t gone that far!) or even worse -changing his Netflix password to Chinese, injecting his doughnut with mustard and using cat food for his tuna baguette.

 There’s a thin line between love and hate. Hate is raw, destructive and the only emotion stronger than love. 

Robert Steinberg distilled it into three components: Repulsion, Passion and Contempt. In different combinations they create various types of hatred.

  1. Cold and calculating
  2. Simmering loathing
  3. Need for total annihilation 

In a survey of 600 people most hated someone they knew, most often due to betrayal. There was also an extreme aversion to the other person’s personality with ex-husbands being the most hated and colleagues and family following close behind. On average the study group hated approximately five people each.

The hate hormone is oxytocin. Yes, the same one as the love hormone. Duque-Williams theory says that oxytocin is used in the brain to amplify the effect of social experiences whether they be positive or negative. In a positive context, they do amplify positive social emotions (hence “love” hormone) but in a negative social context (fighting, bullying) the hormone could promote social avoidance and isolation. Hatred changes the chemistry in the brain and stimulates the pre-motor cortex, the part responsible for planning and execution of motion. It prepares us to act aggressively when feeling hateful, either in defence or attack.

There are many gruesome marital murders on the internet but I won’t burden your sensibilities with too many details. Suffice to say that Katherine Knight butchered her husband, literally, then cooked him and served him up to his children. Then there’s Maria Savez who buried an axe in her husband’s head after catching him in bed with the housekeeper. Surprisingly, the surgeons spent six hours operating on him and he lived to tell the tale. Another woman removed her husband’s testicles with a fruit knife and a 70-year-old woman in America is currently being investigated for murdering five previous husbands. 

So with the science and psychology behind falling in love, falling out of love, and hate we have the basic ingredients for numerous domestic noir and psychological thrillers. Authors can cook up many a plot using the themes of jealous revenge, passionate murder and cold, calculated butchery. So, if you’ve just embarked on a passionate affair or grown weary of your partner and are thinking of going your own way, beware – the future may not be as bright as you think.

WOW - after that very different Guest Post 
I'm not quite sure what I feel the most!
It certainly had me intrigued to find out more
About the author and her books to explore.
So now I'll share more about the author and her book
And hope you'll also take a look....


Every mother’s worst nightmare
It was only for a couple of minutes, while dropping Noah off at nursery. Little did Melanie realise that leaving her sleeping son in the car would end up being the biggest regret of her life.

A teenage challenge turns sour
For teenager Woody, stealing cars with his new friend helps alleviate the tedium of a life of poverty and boredom. This isn’t what he wants to do with his life but for now, he feels accepted. Except on this occasion, his actions have consequences that could change his life forever. Is it too late to turn his life around?

How far would you go to save those you love?
While DI Paton is on the case of the missing child, he is quickly drawn into a web of deception that hits dangerously close to home. He soon finds himself torn in two, not knowing which way to turn: save his career or his family? Will he be able to crack the case before he himself cracks?

Purchase Links 

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Driven-Paton-Investigates-Book-2-ebook/dp/B0BMGS953P

US – https://www.amazon.com/Driven-Paton-Investigates-Book-2-ebook/dp/B0BMGS953P 

About Kerena Swan

We are thrilled to be introducing DI Dave Paton and his son Tommy, the stars of the first novel in Kerena Swan’s new series, to the world. Before coming to Hobeck, Kerena had published three novels, Dying To See YouScared to Breathe and Who’s There? and has built a solid fan base around her writing career thus far. She is a juggler extraordinaire: driving forward a successful care business she runs with her husband yet finding time to write. She loves to write, here and there and everywhere when she’s not working. We don’t know how she does it but we are glad that she does! Kerena talks about her writing, her influences and how she came to Hobeck in this video.

Social Media Links

Website: https://kerenaswan.wordpress.com/   

Twitter: @kerenaswan 

Facebook : @kerenaswan  · Author

Giveaway – Win a paperback copy of Blood Loss by Kerena Swan

(Open to UK Only)

*Terms and Conditions –UK entries welcome.  Please enter using the link to the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Monthly archive of posts

%d bloggers like this: